Brita Sigourney soars to a win in the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO. (Dec. 9) — A year after barely missing the podium at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix held at Copper Mountain, U.S. Freeskiing Pro Halfpipe Team member Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) took its topmost step to kick off the 2011-12 season. Wing Tai Barrymore won the men's with U.S. Freeskiing Pro Torin Yater-Wallace (Snowmass, CO) second as Americans swept the podium. The FIS World Cup and AFP 5Star event was the first international competition since halfpipe skiing was accepted into the 2014 Olympics last spring.
Brita Sigourney won the first Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe stop of the 2011-12 season with a run that went 5, straight air, 9, alley-oop, straight-air, an alley-oop 5, 7 to switch.
Torin Yater-Wallace took second in the men's competition with a run that featured a double flare, left-side 9 tail grab, right side 9 leading tail grab, alley-oop double flatspin 9, 10 to switch.
Pro Team members Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) and Jen Hudak (Park City, UT) placed ninth and twelfth while Tucker Perkins (North Hampton, NH), David Wise (Reno, NV), and Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME) took fifth, sixth, and ninth, respectively.
The Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, a FIS World Cup and AFP 5Star (Association of Freeskiing Professionals), was the first international competition since the acceptance of halfpipe skiing into the 2014 Olympics.
17-year-old Maddie Bowman took fourth with a run that went leftside 5, straight air mute, leftside 9, straight air, straight air, rightside 5, 7 to switch.
Switch specialist Duncan Adams gave the crowd reason to ooooh and aaaaah during his first run of finals as he threw the only switch straight-air in the competition. For his second run Adams added perhaps the tightest grabs of the day in a run that featured a switch 5, switch 7 alley-oop tail and finished with a switch 10.
Switzerland's Nils Lauper was the only skier to attempt back-to-back doubles on the day, and he barely misses landing the second one as his last hit during his final run.
After landing a final run that went leftside double-cork 12, rightside cork 9, leftside cork 10, switch rightside cork 7, leftside cork 9, alley-oop flatspin 5, Tucker Perkins noted that he's looking to add a following tail grab to his double-cork 12 this season.
France's Xavier Bertoni, skiing with a broken left hand, still managed to grab both his alley-oop flat 7 and cork 10 with the injured mitt.
Action continues in the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix Saturday.
QUOTES Brita Sigourney It's such a relief to start the season with a win—it was a surprise! I always put so much pressure on myself and it’s just so nice to get the first competition out of the way and start the season out really nice. I try not to put any expectation on myself—I don't ski well under pressure. I'm always out just to have a good time and if I win, that's a good plus. I'm super stoked to progress and keep the season going really strong.
Maddie Bowman I've only been on the snow for a week and a half. The season can't get any better. That last nine was way better than the first. I landed higher on the wall.
Torin Yater-Wallace In my second run I grabbed my tricks a little better. And just executed it a little more. It was cleaner than my first run and it worked out for me. We had a great cut to the pipe last night and I was feeling great.
Wing Tai Barrymore This is only the beginning of the season and to start it with a win is just awesome. I'm just stoked. The pipe was unbelievable. It was a beautiful day…just unbelievable.
Tucker Perkins In qualifiers the other day I took my worst crash in two years here when [the pipe] was super under vert. But I came out with confidence today. It was a relatively stock run from last year. I've been landing the double cork 12 the past few days, been feeling that.